The Jets had their second day of rookie mini-camp and it was not without some controversy. As reported earlier on Jets-Nation first round draft pick Quinton Coples was held out of a portion of practice without an injury or any particular reason.
“We kind of held (Quinton) Coples out of team today … obviously had a good first day but just keeping him out, we know what he can do I wanted to see some of the other guys compete give them an opportunity to get in there compete a little bit,” Ryan explained about sitting Coples. “No injury no nothing just my decision.” He said sometimes he’ll “holdout lineman” from portions of practice just to give others a chance to be evaluated and that Coples had taken lots of reps the day before.
Coach Ryan was asked if there was a concern Coples will become complacent after first being named “starter” then “back-tracked” from that statement as well as taking Coples out of the line-up today. Ryan responded, “Anybody that selects the guy in the first round has praised the guy enough … He’s going to start, I mean I don’t know if it’s in what level … he is going to play a ton alright, now is he going to play every snap, no I doubt it, but he is going to play a bunch.” Ryan explained that “start” has many meanings, “Start ‘if you like,’ start in sub-team, start in this, start in that … sometimes you come out and the personnel kind of dictates this guy has the athleticism where he’s going play … start in multiple schemes, is he going to start in this defense or that maybe not but I know one thing he’s going to play a ton.”
Ryan praised second round draft pick receiver Stephen Hill as “exciting,” saying he, “Really jumped out today …gives you that big target … with that long ball speed as well.”
When asked about the process of drafting safety Josh Bush Ryan replied, “We we’re looking for an almost if you will a ‘sub-safety’ type in other words we’re not looking for a starter per se they we’re looking for a guy who can play on top of coverage has some man skills set. His is an interesting skill set, was a corner when he first went to Wake Forest transferred over … moved over to safety. That’s kind of what you’re looking for in today’s game that’s really what you need guys that have man coverage skills especially if you play defense like use and guys with range I think he has that he’s got ball skills … had six interceptions this (past) year.”
A couple of lesser known rookies are making a name for themselves. Marcus Dowtin – ILB (North Alabama) originally played for University of Georgia “jumped out” at coach Ryan during camp, “He’s an instinctive guy you see it on tape. I think he’s a guy who has s bright future.” Ryan also said, “Young receiver from Hawaii (Royce Pollard) looks pretty good too.”
“The thing that jumps at you I mean this is a converted corner,” Ryan described defensive back D’Anton Lynn (son of Jets running backs Coach Anthony Lynn), “The new NFL seems like that’s what you are really looking at more athletic guys that you look for a corner at Penn State very productive player thought he was smart was a good tackler. That’s kind of what you have seen here as far as brains put back inside even had him work at nickel had him work at safety and when you’re trying to compete for jobs you want position flexibility.
Ryan expressed praise for rookie tight end Hayden Smith and the job his coaches are doing with him, “Mike Devlin (Tight ends coach) is a great teacher … I’m not going to bet against him (Smith) … He wants to play in this league, he catches the ball well … this is one of those Mike Tannenbaum specials.” Ryan feels, “He (Smith) has a legitimate chance. How quick is it realistic to think he can pick up all the nuances and all that stuff for opening day? … He certainly has a chance.”
Here are some highlights from the field during today’s practice courtesy of ESPN’s Rich Cimini and Star Ledger’s Jenny Vrentas:
- It was another big day for second-round WR Stephen Hill, who was the best player on the field. Hill was a huge presence over the middle, making several grabs on in-cutting routes in the 15- to 20-yard range. In team drills, he made a nice, over-the-shoulder catch on a sideline route.
- Third-round LB Demario Davis has something the Jets’ other LBs don’t have — speed. He drops smoothly into coverage.
- The safeties — Josh Bush and Antonio Allen ) — worked as a tandem, alternating in the free and strong roles.
- TE Hayden Smith. He’s doing a nice job for someone who never played football. The former rugby star made a terrific catch over the middle between two defenders.
- CB Ryan Steed (Furman) made a nice pass-breakup, closing quickly on a short route.
- WR Stephen Hill, the second-round pick out of Georgia Tech, continues to impress. He made a leaping catch in 7-on-7 drills to snag a pass from Matt Simms and later came up with a nice sideline catch in team drills on a pass from Simms.
- Josh Bush and Antonio Allen, the two safeties the Jets drafted, worked together in tandem in the defensive backfield.
- Hayden Smith, the rugby player turned tight end, made his best catch of rookie camp today, over the middle of the field for 20-plus yards.
- RB Terrance Ganaway continued to make nice catches out of the backfield and also showed good burst in team drills.